Friday movie roundup – Sept. 15

Four wide releases to deal with this week, so let’s get a-crackin’.

First, “The Last Kiss” is a Paramount product, which means my review won’t be available until about 3 p.m. today. Check back then. [EDIT: Sure enough, I posted it just after 3 p.m. You can read it here.

The real big news this week is “The Black Dahlia,” director Brian De Palma’s first film in four years. There are people who are rabidly devoted to De Palma, dissecting his every film as a new masterpiece, justify its lousiness in any way possible. I think he usually makes trash, but he usually makes it very well. “The Black Dahlia” is like that: exceedingly well-made, yet in many ways completely worthless. (“Carrie,” “The Untouchables,” “Dressed to Kill” and “Scarface” are among his previous films, if the name doesn’t ring a bell. He directed the first “Mission: Impossible” movie, too.)

Meanwhile, The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) stars in “Gridiron Gang,” which is yet another inspiring sports movie about yet another underdog team. I saw this film accidentally, believe it or not, back in August. I knew there was a screening of SOMETHING at 7 p.m. one Thursday night, and I thought it might be “Material Girls,” scheduled to open the next day. But nope, “Material Girls” didn’t screen at all (nor should it have), and what was playing was “Gridiron Gang,” fully four weeks before it was set to open. It was probably an attempt to create word-of-mouth, which is a shame, because I don’t think I mentioned the film to anyone during those four weeks.

For animation fans, 2006 has been both great and terrible. Great because there have been so many animated films (eight so far, with more on the way), and terrible because so many of them have been mediocre. Add “Everyone’s Hero” to that list. It’s a movie about a talking baseball, for crying out loud. I’m also a little miffed that Raven-Symone has a role in it, because mentioning her in the review will increase this site’s Raven-Symone quotient on Google, which will result in more e-mails from stupid Raven-Symone fans. (Which reminds me: I got another one the other day that I need to post. It begins “hey wots raven symone email address,” but it gets better from there.)

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